This fall, we’ve invited three accomplished artists to curate their set of three ‘Must Have’ colours from our Opus Essential Acrylic, Oil and Watercolour collections.
Our Opus Essential lines are composed of professional-quality products at outstanding value. Whether you’re already a fan or discovering Opus Essential paints for the first time, there’s plenty to explore.
Wetting the palette, Opus Artist Ambassadors Charlie Easton, Diane Williams and Elena Markelova talk us through their selections.
Charlie Easton's Opus Essential Acrylics:
Cadmium Orange, Quinacridone Magenta, Ultramarine Blue
"I’ve been using Opus Essentials acrylics for a while, and for most colours they’re comparable in pigment load and tinting strength to any of the other brands. I’ve just started using the oils and have been similarly impressed. I also love supporting my local art supplies store - such a joy to have Opus on my doorstep!"
"I chose Cadmium Orange, Quinacridone Magenta and Ultramarine Blue. The reason I chose these is because they all work so well together. The blue mutes the orange (and vice versa) and can create some wonderful warm or cool greys. The magenta also complements the orange and blue to create unique colours that straddle the warm/cool temperature median."
"A while ago I learnt to mix colour by temperature, and it was a massive leap forward in my artistic practice. It frees you up from having to know exactly which pigments you need to mix any colour, you can just play with a limited palette and mix warmer/cooler and lighter/darker. These three colours are go-to colours to do this."
About Charlie Easton
Hailing from a family of fine British artists, Charlie Easton is a prolific painter of landscapes and seascapes. Passionate about plein air, he tries to capture light, colour and movement in all his pieces, so getting outside is a high priority.
A Senior Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (SFCA), Charlie studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, at Emily Carr University, and is represented by galleries across North America and Europe.
Diane Williams' Opus Essential Oil Colours:
Opera Pink, Cerulean Blue, Dioxazine Purple
"I recently relocated from the foothills of Alberta to Summerland, BC. I discovered Opus Essential Oil colours late 2020, after I arrived. I enjoy the ease in which they blend, how they slide over the canvas with no stickiness, and love their honest colour."
"I often have 9 colours on my palette - Opera Pink, Cerulean Blue, and Dioxazine Purple stand out as essential, along with Titanium White."
"Opera Pink introduced me to Opus Essential Oils. I was painting pink peonies and wanted a colour that radiated PINK. It’s true pink like its name, my surprise colour. This rich semi- transparent hue delivers saturation with a buttery softness. I mix it with Dioxazine Purple to create deep violets and with Cadmium Orange for a juicy pink/orange. Vibrant, flamboyant, ablaze with saturation, pair Opera Pink with soft greens to mute."
"Buttery, darksome, deep purple. Dioxazine Purple is a semi-opaque deep shadow colour on my full-spectrum palette. I use no black, brown or gray, so Dioxazine Purple is my darkest shadow colour, straight out of the tube - my black. Mix it with Opera pink for rich violets and purples. Add it to dark green for “blacks” in the horse's manes and tails or with Cadmium orange for warm deep shadows."
"I’m also in love with Cerulean Blue. I often say to my students that I covet a wardrobe full of Cerulean blue. Mix it with Cadmium orange and white. It is my classic grey. I use it as a cool highlight in sunshine when light reflects off the crest of a horse’s mane. Adding Cadmium Yellow creates a peppy chartreuse green."
About Diane Williams
Diane Williams is an accomplished equine painter and art educator who has travelled extensively to paint unique horses and wildlife in their natural habitat. Integrating classical techniques and contemporary colour, Diane captures impressions of light through layers of brilliant oil colours, wet-on-wet until finished.
Diane holds a Masters degree in Art Education from the University of British Columbia, her artwork is in collections throughout Canada, United States, Australia, and Europe.
Elena Markelova's Opus Essential Watercolours:
Phthalo Blue, Hooker's Green Dark, Payne's Grey
"I first tried Opus Essential Watercolour a couple of years ago when I purchased it for one of my workshops, and was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and value of paint per tube. The texture is very smooth and I could only compare the feel and performance of these to the best of world-known professional brands. It’s also important to me that the watercolour is made in North America in small batches and with ethically-sourced natural Gum Arabic."
"All my artwork is inspired by the beauty of nature and wildlife that inhabit Canada, so I’ve picked the colours that you’d see outside on any day - Phthalo Blue (sky and water), Hooker’s Green Dark (forest and water reflections) and Payne’s Grey (rocks and mountains)."
"These three are the main colours on my palette, and I’m pretty sure I implement them all on each and every artwork that I’ve painted in my recent years. Phthalo Blue (PB15) is the main blue pigment that is used in creating many other blue shades and tones - Cerulean Blue, Turquoise Blue, Indigo, etc. It’s great for painting deep or shallow water, day or night sky, mountain peaks or in mixes with greens and greys to create a cold or winter feel."
"Hooker’s Green Dark (PG7/PY42) is a beautiful green colour that is extremely versatile and in mixes with different yellows, browns or blues creates a variety of green shades from the very light, sun-kissed tones, to the darkest shadow greens. A true must-have in any naturalist’s palette."
"And last but not least- Payne’s Grey (PBk6/PB27), which was developed in the late 1700s by William Payne, an English painter. I don’t like using black colours in my artwork; they usually tend to create dull mixes. That’s why I implement Payne’s Grey for the darkest shadows and tones, and always mix it with Phthalo Blue or Dioxazine Violet to reduce fading. I like the granulating effect of this paint, and it’s perfect for stormy skies and flat ocean waters, and essential to painting rocks and mountains."
"I highly recommend the Opus Essential line to anyone who is just starting their journey with watercolour as well as professional painters, seeking to experiment and compare their favourite brands to the one we have locally made."
About Elena Markelova
Watercolourist Elena Markelova is well known for her double exposure animals, nature paintings, and city maps - all inspired by the magnificent landscapes and captivating wildlife of British Columbia.
Born and raised in a small town in Siberia, Elena spent her childhood painting and drawing, but didn’t unlock her own style and creative inspiration until moving to Canada in 2012. A chance sighting of a bear cub on a trip to Penticton proved a pivotal point in her artistic career, and she’s been hooked on capturing nature ever since.
Get your FREE Opus Essential Titanium White!
Receive a matching FREE Opus Essential Titanium white with the purchase of Charlie, Diane, or Elena’s limited edition sets.
For online purchases, use the following promo codes to redeem your free Opus Essential Titanium White:
- OPUSET - For a free 60mL Acrylic/8mL Watercolour/37mL Oil Titanium White to match the set!
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